I wish I could honour him by name, but of course I can’t.
I don’t work many shifts in the section he was in, but I tended to him a couple of times, and he was a nice fellow. He was grateful for the care, and didn’t ask for much…. For all his pain, he had his sense of humour, I liked him.
He came to us to die, he had lots going on, and was palliative. He was only with us for a couple of weeks at best.
At handover this morning, the RN’s told us (carers) that he was on a morphine driver, nil by mouth. Speaking to the carer coming off night shift I realised he was very close to the end…
Our facility is in lockdown, strictly no visitors allowed.
We checked in on him at the start of shift, there was nothing to be done except make sure the driver was working….
We had lots of work in front of us, getting through breakfast and personal care took us right up to my lunch break.
Three cigarettes and a coffee later I walked back in and checked in on him.
No pulse. Still warm, he had just passed.
Alone. In a place that was never his home.
I did some checks to be sure, went and informed the RN.
I joined my workmates in serving lunch, and told them the resident had passed.
One of them asked me if I had ever been present at that moment, when someone died.
“Yeah, my Dad a couple of years ago” I said. And that was exactly where my head was.
And that nice old man who was in room 117 was probably someone’s Dad too….
This Xmas was always going to be low key, and that’s ok. Most of my family is spread far and wide (in Australia) and travel is no simple thing these days…..
The plan was to work the morning shift ( residential aged care), come home, spend an hour or two with my lady, until she heads off to work the afternoon shift……then have Xmas lunch at my brother’s, joined by Mum. We all live in the same small town.
That all changed yesterday though… My brother has had family staying for a few days, and we found out they are close contacts of cases…. So they’re all off for testing, and in my line of work, I just don’t wanna put the residents under my care at risk. So I didn’t go to my brother’s.
So it’s just me and the dog, it’s been the quietest Xmas…..
But I had a lovely shift at work. We were short staffed (again) and I stayed back as long as I could… There goes time with my girl…..But my residents made me feel so appreciated, I worked most of my shift with shiny eyes…..
This one old fella, (whom I’ve known my whole life, small town…) called me back into his room after I’d showered him and delivered his breakfast. He stood up from his chair (not an easy thing to do) and reached out to shake my hand. He thanked me so sincerely for the care I give him, and told me I give 110%. Then he burst into tears and pulled me in for a hug. I of course lost it and burst into tears as well.
Sooo….. the local council has been replacing the water mains down my street, has been quite a big job. lots of digging holes, watching them fill with the forecast rain, filling ’em back up with gravel, come back next day, rinse and repeat….whatever…
Now, the street that leads off mine has the same name as my best friend’s surname. This corner sign has been lying under a tree on the side of the road for months. Soon they will put it back up, under a streetlight.
She is an awesome chick, lives a few towns away, and I’m a gonna steal that sign and give it to her. She will be very pleased to have that I reckon.
It will involve sneaking over in the midst of night, with a couple of spanners, maybe some spray to help loosen the rusty bolts a bit. I have checked it out on my many walks to the shop.
I give lots to my town, our rates are crazy high for the services we get, I have no moral issue with the costs imposed by my intended actions.
It’s a medium risk operation. There is a yappy dog in the house over the fence , just a few feet from the scene.
I have my dark hoodie ready. I can’t run fast for long distances, but this must be done.
He sat, staring at his phone. Never before had he been so captivated by a face. He noticed her long, shining, golden hair…. and her piercing blue eyes. Her smile was warm and natural, and a tad cheeky….
But what really had him hooked were the freckles. Perfectly placed on a flawless complexion, he couldn’t take his eyes away. He wanted to see those freckles every day of his life, just as an astronomer wants to see the stars in the night sky. He was falling for her, falling for this face of perfection…..
Then he swiped right, and realised the freckles were actually fly shit on his screen, and he didn’t like her any more…